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Wednesday, July 10, 2013
ACC Football Kickoff countdown: No. 8

By Heather Dinich

We’ve got less than two weeks until our planes take off for Greensboro, N.C., the site of this year’s ACC Football Kickoff, where members of the media meet with players and coaches for two days of interviews. In order to help us get to the unofficial start of the season, we’re counting down 10 of the most interesting storylines in the ACC this fall:

No. 8: How will the new quarterbacks fare?

There are plenty of them in the conference to watch this fall, and several schools -- like Pitt, Syracuse and NC State -- who still don’t know who their starter will be. No rookie will face more scrutiny, though, than Florida State’s Jameis Winston. He has been hailed as The Answer by many, the team’s preseason offensive MVP, but he has yet to take a snap in a collegiate game. Life after EJ Manuel begins with more hype than hardware. At Georgia Tech, the Jackets might have gotten an upgrade in first-year starter Vad Lee, but will we see what his arm can really do if there aren’t any dependable receivers to throw it to? Duke was impressed with the leadership and skills of first-year starter Anthony Boone this past spring, and those within the program have said he has a stronger arm than his predecessor, Sean Renfree, and is more mobile. Does he have what it takes, though, to get Duke back to a bowl game for a second straight season? Who knows what’s going on at Virginia since the departures of Michael Rocco and Phillip Sims, the top two options from a year ago. At Pitt, Tom Savage, who transferred from Rutgers and Arizona, hasn’t taken a snap in a game since 2010. Veteran quarterbacks will highlight the ACC this fall, but it’s the unproven ones who could be X factors in the ACC race.

The countdown: